Sunday, March 15, 2009

Herald Leader's sour grape whine

The Lexington Herald Leader's editorial board is even more upset than the Courier Journal was about the end of a disastrous episode in education "reform."

"As it stands, cynics can justifiably conclude that Beshear and House Democrats, under new Speaker Greg Stumbo, caved to the worst impulses of both the teachers union and conservative enemies of public schools."

Thanks for the big laugh and free mention for the Bluegrass Institute, guys!

I take it the Herald Leader would prefer corrupted, unusable testing data, relentless happy-talk from the Prichard Committee, and spin that the phony CATS testing was somehow better than any alternative. In fact, they said as much:

Getting off the CATS gravy train is hardly a three-year pass. Discontinuing a test that has become totally meaningless has no downside. Finding something worse would be a real chore. Choosing from among many options that allow specific, usable results to pinpoint how any teacher is performing and any student is learning provides an easy win for taxpayers, parents, and students.

Bad day for the bureaucracy, though. And the editorial writers who have sided with them for so long are just chapped that everyone who pays attention to this stuff knows they got their heads handed to them.

The Kentucky Department of Education bears close scrutiny in this transition phase, of course. Stay tuned. We'll be watching them.